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Renewable Energy

More Water Companies benefit from Solar Power

Following on from our recent news report on Bristol Water 's large scale solar power system, Portsmouth Water has now turned unused industrial land into solar power hubs at six sites in southern England.

The six sites of 50kWp each were installed across reservoir roofs and land at treatment sites in direct response to rising electricity prices. They will produce power almost solely for on-site for pumping and treating water and the amount of electricity generated each year is expected to be 42,500 units creating an income from the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) as well as saving the organisation at least £4,000 a year in electricity costs.

Portsmouth Water's managing director, Nick Roadnight, said: "It is important as a user of energy we look at all the potential options to reduce the amount of energy we have to take from the national grid and at the same time look to reduce our carbon footprint without of course placing any risk on our ability to supply water to our customers

"The installation of solar panels on our sites achieves all of these objectives and with around a 25 years life span it helps the company have a more sustainable approach to energy use."

Solarcentury chief executive, Derry Newman, added: "It makes good sense to put unused industrial space to work generating clean energy to treat waste water rather than creating more CO2 via conventional energy."

Solar power for remote flood defence

equipment Until recently, Environment Agency staff had to regularly visit flood defence structures to make sure they were operating correctly. One site requiring frequent visits was Loe Pool near Porthleven where debris including tree branches occasionally get trapped in a flood defence screen after being washed from Loe Pool. If the debris isn’t removed there’s an increased risk of flooding in the nearby town of Helston.

Loe Pool is Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake. Situated close to the Lizard Peninsula within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), its remote location makes connection to mains electricity prohibitively expensive.

Agency engineers have solved the site’s energy supply problem by installing a solar panel beside the flood defence structure. Electricity from the panel powers various pieces of equipment including a flow gauge, water level gauge and webcam making it possible to monitor the screen remotely 24 hours a day.

Data and information from the site is relayed to the Agency’s office in Bodmin by telemetry via a system similar to that used by a mobile phone. The telemetry is also powered by the site’s

environmentally-friendly solar panel. ‘It scores on health and safety because our staff no longer have to carry out as many visits to this potentially hazardous site. This means we can reduce our mileage and carbon footprint and check remotely whether the screen needs clearing,’ said Roger Bailey for the Environment Agency. The solar panel has proved so successful similar equipment has been installed at a number of sites across Cornwall as part of the Environment Agency’s sustainable energy programme. The Government watchdog is blazing a trail with eco-friendly schemes in Cornwall. Two of its depots are now equipped with 60ft wind turbines and at Pennygillam Depot near Launceston a rainwater harvesting system has also been installed making the site almost self- sufficient in water. Staff in Cornwall have also been trialling a fleet of biofuel vehicles.

One of the latest technological breakthroughs is the use of highly- efficient ‘Hydrogen fuel cells’ to power telemetry and monitoring equipment including fish counters and gauges at remote locations such as Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor where other sources of power are unavailable.

£10M funding up for grabs for marine energy R & D

£10M funding for marine energy R & D In order to help

demonstrate that wave and tidal energy can be generated at scale, and with lower costs, a £10.5 million investment is being made available. The Technology Strategy Board will invest up to £6.5m, Scottish Enterprise up to £3m and NERC up to £1m.

The funding will support the deployment and operation of the first series of wave and tidal arrays while

complementing other public funding initiatives such as the Department for Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) Marine Energy Array Deployment capital grant scheme, the Energy Technologies Institute’s (ETI) wave and tidal energy system demonstrator


programmes and the Scottish Government's Saltire Prize.

The competition will seek proposals for research and development projects that address themes such as: tidal array cabling; subsea electrical hubs; installation and maintenance vessels for tidal arrays; navigation and collision avoidance and anti-fouling & corrosion.

The competition opens on 5 March 2012 and a briefing event to provide more information to prospective applicants will be held in London on 14 March 2012. Deadline for registration is 10 April 2012 and expressions of interest must be submitted by 17 April 2012.

For more information : content/competition/marin e-energy-supporting-array- technologies.ashx

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